Gearing up to blog again, this time at Reverie Farm Please visit me there! As always, I’d love your comments, suggestions, thoughts and feedback. Thanks for reading. –susan
It is this beautiful boy’s 18th birthday today. I celebrate him now, as ever.
My child is filthy. His clothes hang disheveled, covered with mud and soot. I can smell him from several feet away. His face and hands are nearly black. His shins are covered with blood from bug bites and brambles, sweat drips from under his baseball hat. He’s smiling as I walk toward him.
I ask him about his day. I expect to hear about building camp in the woods, about making a fire without matches, about whittling a bowl from a log. He is a Forest Scout and this is his first day of Earth Skills camp. On other such days, he’s talked of juniper tea and eating roadkill. He has built himself a shelter of branches and snow and spent a February night there. He has talked of hiking to the middle of the Maine woods with only a compass and some cryptic directions back to the path: left at…
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Tags: friendship, poems
You don’t say yessah to a woman who writes
prose like a dance
Message and method makes you fumble
You can say wanna because it’s spontaneous
And she’ll dance on the beach
under a full moon, remembering
the promise of unseen choices
When anything was possible
until neither of you remembers words
And the magic of the moment becomes a still reminder
Of the miles yet to go
Categories: poems, words
Tags: contentment, love
until it becomes
Me, with my words
It’s like the ocean
It’s like gardening barefoot
It’s like skipping stones
It’s like music
It’s like writing
I don’t understand
All is right with the world
Tags: unrequited love
The geese are gone now.
It’s colder here on this bench than it ever has been.
I know if I don’t leave soon, I will face my fear in dark woods.
There will be no moonlight tonight.
I have already been to the depths of my own horrors–
it is why I can stand witness to another with compassion, empathy
tenderness; a balm.
Only recently did I discover how to treat my own wounds with that kind of care.
They rise to the surface whenever fear edges out truth.
Rape, violence, silence. Depression. Anxiety, suicide, loss and loss and loss…
Yet I remain astounded by the resiliency of love.
A gentle touch, a deep breath.
The kiss of truth–longing to see and to be seen and loved anyway.
Rejoicing in poignant and precious present.
The river before me, frozen now and covered with snow.
For a moment, I consider that it would only be a split second in eternity–
panic before cold wins. Succumbing to the ice.
The current would allow nothing but surrender.
This frozen river, with its still, snowy facade, reads my mind.
Ice cracks with audible force…if only to remind me that underneath,
the tide still flows.
Yet I remain, astounded by the resiliency of love.
Tags: balance, blessing, breath, change, community, encouragement, eventide, faith, friendship, gratitude, growth, healing, joy, longing, love, peace, reflection, relationships, simplicity, wellness, yoga
“Sometimes, if you’re too strong, you can’t be stretchy and if you’re too stretchy, you can’t be strong” –a wise yogi said this today as she prompted me to forget the shape of my body and just breathe. She was talking about my physical self, but I actually laughed when I realized she’d articulated a truth I’d been dancing around for a while.
I’m raw. Tired, vulnerable, a bit wounded of late. I’m baffled; relationships aren’t what they seem, people I love are hurtful, I stay connected long beyond the point of loving or healthy or safe. I’m fearful of the force of unknowns in an uncertain time. I’m depleted by the constant effort of being my own best friend. Vigilance against the impulse to shut down wears me down.
I’m determined. Intention and effort combine to manifest new roles which serve an authentic identity. I’ve been working toward this place for four years– learning who I am beyond and because of loss, yes, but also a discovery. There is a core beauty, intuition, gratitude and faith which sustains me. Laughing with my children, lying on the hammock, savoring the kiss of a man I could love, swimming in the cold ocean, the hug of a lifelong friend– Grace reminds me every day how abundant and precious and fortunate my life is and creates the desire to fling my heart open wide.
As in my yoga practice, I struggle in life to find the sweet spot between strong and stretchy. I get glimpses of it. On retreat in Mexico, yoga and love brought me out of the shadows of cynicism, fear, defeat. Challenged gently to keep my heart open, by meditation and conversation and kindness, I went into my yoga practice vulnerable yet mindful of every sensation. The sound of the ocean just beyond the studio doors, the grit on my mat from days walking barefoot, the tenderness in my body from challenging it over the course of a week to stretch and bend and twist, the breath of my community practicing in unison; all vivid yet secondary to the quiet within as I moved without any thought beyond breathing in and breathing out. Toward the end of my practice, my teacher came and wordlessly shifted my body out of the modified version of my forward bend. I focused on her deliberate breathing in time with me. As she lay along my back, she whispered, “it’s about trust” and moved my head to the floor into a full expression of this asana; which I’d never experienced. In that moment, the essence of me existed in eventide. Peace: my mind, body and spirit met the split second homeostasis which would draw me toward eternity. I know it is possible.
And so, I’m realizing that there is nothing to do. The compulsion to draw inward, to protect myself, to flee, can exist alongside the impulse to acknowledge everyday blessing, to follow love, to rejoice. I’ve been trying to choose. I’ve been simultaneously compelled to hold tight and resist or to let go and allow: swinging the pendulum between too strong and too stretchy. The lesson is this: breathe. Forget trying to manifest some outcome. Forget trying to modify or create or coerce or discern. Breathe. Stay focused. Trust the steps I’m taking toward my dreams. Meditate, pray, practice yoga. Savor friendship and my boys and chocolate. Write down the things which make me sad or scared and then burn them in a ritual of release. Write down the things which make me smile or say ‘thank you’ to the universe and read them every day. Be a wise trout. And in that stillness, trust. Love, community and circumstances will collide with intuition, identity and grace; resulting in that moment when all is in perfect balance. It is enough.
Categories: children, poems, words
Tags: birth, blessing, children, family, gratitude, homebirth, joy, love, lyrics, memory, parenting, peace, poems, reflection, simplicity, support, wellness, words, writing
The following are attempts to create poems about the birth of my boys, written as part of a project for grad school…the only writing I’m doing these days…
Middle of the night water flowing
Dawn breaks after a slow walk in the morning mist
Carrying a blue sky Strawberry festival day
And the intensity of anticipation and effort
Vivaldi and honey-laced ice
the large soft hands of a capable shepherd
Trust and surrender to the
Welcome cries of eagle-lion
Myth and magic and mystery become
Divinity in my arms
Jupiter rising within my impatient belly
It’s today! I think
But then re-think when everything stops
And the midwife decides not to come
Hours of disappointed inaction and I hardly
Notice when I start laboring again and
By the time I start paying attention it’s
Chaos and it’s just you and me little Jupiter
No time for conscious support it’s primal as
My body and my baby take over
A cacophony of action until twelve minutes after
The midwife arrives
As the universe makes room for
This unspeakable love